In the face of terrorists kidnapping our children, we were left with no choice.
In the face of rockets raining down on our citizens, we were left witih no choice.
In the face of jihadists tunneling under our borders, we were left with no choice.
few hours ago, the Israel Defense Forces entered Gaza to restore a
sustained quiet to the people of Israel while degrading Hamas's terror
capabilities. We did everything in our power to aovid this. Prime
Minister Netanyahu made the courageous decision to accept every
cease-fire offered - even as the people of Israel were under attack. But
Hamas rejected every overture to restore the quiet.
what we wanted. We have sent our children - our sons and our daughters -
to face an enemy who lives by violence and celebrates death. I want to
be clear - our forces are fighting in Gaza, but they are not fighting
the people of Gaza.
For years, the citizens of Israel have been
the victims of unrelenting attacks perpetrated by a murderous terrorist
group. Hamas has attacked us in our homes and schools and cafes and on
Stand now with Israel to prevent the next barrage of
rockets, the next kidnapping, and the next suicide attack so that we
may, once and for all, remove the threat of terrorism casting its dark
shadow over the people of Israel.
month alone offers a glimpse into the unrelenting threats that Israel
faces. We have been attacked on four fronts. Rockets have been launched
form Syria, Lebanon, and Sinai and over 1,500 rockets have been fired by
terrorists in Gaza.
Israel's great restraint is being met with
unrestrained aggression. For six hours on Tuesday, Israel held its fire.
During that time, the world witnessed Hamas's understanding of 'cease-fires' - Israel ceases and Hamas fires.
Hamas didn't fire one or two rockets; it battered Israel with 50
rockets. Every one sent a message loud and clear - Hamas is determined
to wage war on the Jewish stage.
Two days later, the UN asked for
a limited humanitarian truce. Once again, Prime Minister Netanyahu
agreed and proved that Israel is not interested in a war. As aid workers
transferred goods to assist the people of Gaza, Hamas continued to
defiantly launch rockets into Israel.
How did Hamas use the
humanitarian cease-fire? It sent thirteen heavily armed terrorists
through a terror tunnel towards Kibbutz Sufa with the sole purpose of
committing a massacre.
This is the third time in the past two
weeks that Hamas has used its tunnels to infiltrate Israel and tried to
carry out attacks. And all the while, it is still launching hundreds of
For 10 days, life for five million
Israelis has meant having just seconds to run for a bomb shelter and
save their lives. Our largest cities - Tel Aviv, Haifa, and Jerusalem -
are being bombarded on a daily basis.
There is no country
in the world that would tolerate such an assault on its citizens - and
Israel should not be expected to either. We are acting solely to defend
Israelis from constant terror attacks.
Throughout Operation Protective Edge, Israel has been committed to upholding international law. Our army is a moral army like no other in the world. It does not aspire to harm any innocent person. We are operating only against terrorist targets and genuinely regret any civilian loss.
In contract, there is no red line that Hamas will not cross. It will stop at nothing and there is no depth that they will not sink to - they are even using ambulances filled with children to move their terrorists around Gaza.
is no site that is off limits for Hamas - it is storing its weapons in
family homes, launching rockets form mosques and establishing its
headquarters in the basement of a Gaza hospital.
admitted that it mysteriously found 20 missiles in one of its schools.
I'm sure that if UNRWA takes the time to check its other facilities, it
will discover that this is just the tip of the iceberg. Hamas is using
UN facilities to commit a double war crime by targeting Israeli
civilians while hiding behind Palestinian civilians.
safety of their luxury hotels in Qatar, Hamas leaders like Khaled
Mashaal order room service with one hand and order Hamas to use
Palestinians as human shields with the other.
But you don't have
to take my word for it. The Palestinian delegate to the UN Human Rights
Council admitted as much, saying (and I quote): "The missiles that are
now being launched against Israel, each and every missile constitutes a
crime against humanity, whether it hits or misses, because it is
directed at civilian targets."
I hope the Palestinian delegate will remember this when making threats against certain UN agencies.
has been faced with a choice that no nation should have to make:
refrain from responding and subject its civilians to rocket fire or
engage with the terrorists and risk injuring civilians.
uses Palestinian casualties to fuel its propaganda machine. Hamas's
strategy is clear - it perpeturates the killing of its own people in the
hope that the international community will place pressure on Israel to
grant its demands.
Sadly, many people have fallen for their
cynical campaign by describing the fighting as moral equivalency or a
(quote unquote) "cycle of violence".
All those who argue
that both sides are equally to blame are playing into Hamas's hand and
sentencing the people of Gaza and Israel to further suffering. Ill-informed condemnations of Israel strengthen the hand of terrorists.
is a clear difference between Israel and Hamas - the Jewish people
believe in the value of life, while Hamas believes in the value of
How many more Palestinians must fall victim before President Abbas finally breaks his partnership with Hamas?
is the president of the unity govertment that includes a murderous
terror group. What exactly is this government united for? Obviously not
Even as alarms sound throughout
Israel, some members of the international community are sounding false
alarms here in the United Nations. They told us that as soon as Israel
retreated to 1967 lines and dismantled its settlements, there would be
peace. They insisted that the conflict was fueled by the so-called
Occupation? Does no one remember anything?
I headed Israel's Foreign Service in 2005, Israel turned every inch of
Gaza over to the Palestinians. In the process, the world watched as we
uprooted thousands of Israeli famlies from their homes and dismantled
When we were done, there was not a soldier, not
a settler, not a single Israeli left. All we left behind were
greenhouses and other structures that would develop the Gaza economy and
allow the Palestinian people to build a peaceful society. We opened
border crossings and encouraged commerce because we wanted Gaza to
succeed. We hoped that this would serve as a model for two societies to
live side by side in peace.
But it didn't. Hamas used the
pretense of democracy to create a militant theocracy. First, it waged a
civil war against Fatah and executed political opponents. Then it
destroyed the greenhouses and businesses we left behind. Instead of
using them to build economic institutions, it built a terrorist regime
complete with miles of underground tunnels. And finally, it seized the
funding that flowed from the international community to flood Gaza with
In each and every month for the past nine years, Hamas
has fired rockets towards Israel's towns and cities. Over time, it has
expanded its arsenal of rockets from a few hundred to thousands. The
weapons that they have today are more sophisticated and can reach
farther into Israel than ever before.
Every few years, Hamas escalates its attacks by launching a massive offensive.
2008, over the course of three weeks, Hamas fired 800 rockets that
could reach 1 million Israelis living in the area near Gaza.
In 2012, Hamas fired 1,200 rockets in a single week that could reach 3.5 million Israelis in southern and central Israel.
the last two weeks, Hamas has fired 1,500 rockets that threatened 5
million Israelis - or 70% of our population - living throughout the
After each escalation, the international community
brokers a cease-fire and Israel accepts it hoping that it will finally
bring peace. After three rounds of major assaults and over 12,000
rockets in nine years, it has become clear that Hamas is not interested
in bringing quiet to Gaza. It is employing the "Hudna" strategy. When
Hamas finds itself on the verge of defeat, it agrees to a brief recess
to rest, rearm, and resume aggressions.
years, we told you about the thousasnds of rockets that Hamas was
smuggling into Gaza. We were met with silence. Time and again we called
on the international community to condemn the rocket fire and we were
met with silence.
It is time for the international community to face the consequences of its inaction. Hamas
used its foothold in Gaza to trample on the Palestinian people and
build a terror base in Israel's backyard. And now it sees an opportunity
to do it again.
Hamas is using the unity
government to export its terrorist capabilities from Gaza to Judea and
Samaria. If Hamas is not stopped it will mean more terror for Israel and
more tragedy for the Palestinians.
community embraced the unity agreement between Fatah and a terror
organization, believing it would bring us closer to peace. Does that
sound logical to you? How could embracing a terror group whose raison
d'etre is the eradication of Israel bring about peace?
By now it
should be clear that Hamas is using the cover of a political agreement
to gain legitimacy for its extremist objectives. Following the
establishment of the unity government, Hamas Minister Fathi Hammad
declared (and I quote) that: "the whistling of bullets, the sound of
bombs and missiles exploding... and the capture of [Israeli] soldiers"
was "music to our ears".
The danger couldn't be clearer. By
supporting the unity agreement, you are giving Hamas the opportunity to
weave incitement, violence, and terror into the basic fabric of Judea
and Samaria, just as it did in Gaza.
citizens of Israel want to live in peace. We want to see our children
grow up and grow old without ever running for a bomb shelter or putting
on an army uniform.
I hope that someday we read about attacks on
the Jewish people in history books rather than in newspapers. But that
day has not yet come. For now, we are forced to wage a war against a
terrorist group committed to our destruction.
Night has fallen in
Israel. Rather than sleeping soundly in their beds, our sons and
daughters are out there in the darkness standing guard over the people
of Israel. In the Book of Psalms, King David says: "Too long have I
lived among those who hate peace. I am for peace; but when I speak, they
are for war."
Mr. President - Israel was left with no choice. But each of you has a choice.
Stand againsty terrorism and stand for the right of people to live in peace.
Stand against the use of human shields and stand for human rights.
Stand against oppression and stand for the freedom that we hold daer.
leaders of many government represented in this room have already
expressed their support for Israel's right to defend itself. We thank
them for standing at our side at this important hour.
I ask the rest of you to join them.
have with me a compass. I offer it to the international community in
the hopes that it will guide you towards making the right decision.
Stand for moral clarity, stand for good against evil, and stand for
right against wrong.